Passenger car trips decreased in autumn 2022 compared to the previous year – share of rail travel increased
In 2021, the daily mobility of Finns was still being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the popularity of passenger car driving increasing and the use of public transport services decreasing. In autumn 2022, the everyday mobility of Finns was still at the same level as in 2021. Factors that are likely to have contributed to this include the increase in remote work and the rise of the general price level, which also increased fuel prices. The number of domestic trips made by passenger car decreased compared to the previous year, whereas the number of trips made using public transport services increased. The aforementioned insights are based on the National Travel Survey carried out by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom to collect data on mobility in Finland in autumn 2022.
In autumn 2022, Finns made roughly the same number of domestic trips as in autumn 2021. On average, Finns made 2.3 domestic trips per day, traveling an average of 34 kilometres.
“Comparing the mobility of Finns last autumn to the results of the 2016 National Travel Survey, we can see that the number of domestic trips made, the kilometres travelled and the time spent travelling have all decreased significantly,” says Special Adviser Hanna Strömmer.
The average total time spent traveling per day was 68 minutes in autumn 2022. Compared to autumn 2016, the average duration of individual domestic trips has increased, however. In autumn 2022, most of the domestic trips made by Finns were related to leisure and to work and education. The share of trips related to work and education increased by two percentage points compared to the previous year.
Rail travel has increased
The share of kilometres traveled per day as a passenger car driver decreased by 4% compared to the previous year. At the same time, the share of kilometres traveled using public transport services has increased after the dip caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and was higher than in 2016. The number of kilometres traveled by rail has increased significantly compared to 2016 and 2021.
“In addition to the recovery of long-distance train travel, factors that are likely to have contributed to these changes include the long-term impacts of the pandemic in terms of increasing remote work and the rise of the general price level. If these changes prove persistent, they will have a positive impact on transport emissions over the long term,” Strömmer says.
Number of non-mobile Finns on the rise
The share of Finns who make no or only one trip per day has increased compared to autumn 2016 and 2021. Compared to autumn 2021, the share of non-mobile Finns increased by 4%. The increase was highest in the age group of 65–74-year-olds, where the share of non-mobile people increased by as much as 12%.
There were notable difference in mobility between residential areas. Finns living in rural areas make an average of two domestic trips per day, while those living on the edges of urban areas make an average of 2.6 domestic trips per day. In rural areas, the average distance traveled per day is over 40 km, whereas in urban centres the average distance travelled per day is only 26 km.
Remote work at the same level as in 2021
The prevalence of remote work was still at the same high level in autumn 2022 as it was in 2021. In 2022, 33% of working respondents had worked remotely during the seven days preceding the survey. Of these respondents, 19% had worked more than two days remotely during the past week. In the 2021 survey, the share of working respondents who had worked remotely was 31 and the share of those who had worked more than two days remotely was 20%.
The purpose of the Finnish National Travel Survey is to collect data on mobility in Finland. The Survey provides information on the mobility of Finnish people, the factors affecting it and demographic, regional and temporal variations in passenger trips.
The results of the survey are utilised widely, e.g. in traffic and land use planning, in national and regional transport system planning as well as in monitoring and forecasting changes in our travel habits.